When a business looks to activate a 1300 or 1800 number, it is imperative that they keep ownership of the number. It is an integral part of their brand and must be available to them for the life of the business, A loss of the number may be extremely detrimental if you consider the difficulty business owners would face to attempt to introduce a new number to their customer base.
This is even more the case, if you consider the advent of the Phoneword, eg 1300 MY COMPANY. These phone numbers (phonewords) become almost the same as a domain name or business name. Losing it would mean certain problems.
With that in mind, the ownership of the 1300 or 1800 number is dictated by the path which is taken to acquire the number. There are basically 3 ways that a business can purchase or acquire the number;
Choose from a Public List
Every Telco in Australia has access to a FREE list of numbers. By free, we mean, they are free of any capital cost so the business will not be up for a “purchase” cost to choose one of these numbers from the public available list. There are in excess of 3000 of each type of number to choose from, and they are constantly being renewed so the choice is huge.
The downside: the good numbers will not be in this list. By good numbers we mean, numbers with double or triple digits in it or indeed numbers that spell words.
Ownership: if a business chooses a number from this Public 1300 Number List list, they will always own the number as long as they keep the number active and do not default with the carrier. A default may cause the number to be lost.
Purchase a number from Smartnumbers
If the number they want is not available in the free list, then they will need to buy the number from the, government run, auction system called smartnumbers.com.au. These numbers come at a cost, namely the auction price. Reserve prices start at $250.
The downside: You can get what you want but at a capital cost and, alot of the possible numbers have already been purchased.
Ownership: Yes, if you buy the number, you own the number as long as you connect the number within 3 years from smartnumbers.com.au. In this case, even if you default with your carrier, you will still keep the ownership because a cancellation by a carrier will simply return the number back to smartnumbers and will remain, owned by you ready to reactivate.
Lease the number
If the 1300 or 1800 number has already been purchased, then your only option is to lease the number of the owner of the number. The price can range dramatically depending on the number you are looking to lease.
The downside: You may pay a much higher monthly fee then normal, simply to have access to the number.
Ownership: NO, in this situation you will NOT own the number. It is owned by the purchaser of the number and the business owner is simply leasing it. It is in the best interests of the owner to keep you having access to the number but there is no guarantee.